- So, you're going to cast your vote to prove that you
live in a democracy, are you? Guess again, Chuck.
- Your vote does not matter. It might not even be counted,
assuming you're allowed to vote to begin with. In fact, if you're black,
and the first four letters of your last name match the first four letters
on that famously fabricated list of Florida felons, you definitely won't
be voting at all, because the state of Florida hasn't bothered to fix its
mistakes from the last election " the same problems that allowed George
W. Bush to slither into the White House like the rapine reptilian he is
are still in force.
- Plus, the thoughtful Republicans in Florida, led by the
president's porcine brother Jeb Bush, have added some new obstacles to
counting the votes accurately, the best of which is the new touchscreen
voting system, which eliminates the paper trail that would expose ballot
manipulation and also would be used for legitimate recounts in the case
of very close elections. No more recounts " isn't that efficient?
- Angry columnist Jackson Thoreau recently penned a comprehensive
roundup of Republican shenanigans going on around the country to reduce
the Democratic vote. Read the whole story at http://www.americaheldhostile.com/ed110102.shtml
or let me give you this brief synopsis.
- You have to hand it to the Republicans for evil inventiveness.
In New Mexico, the GOP tried to bribe the Green Party to run candidates
in three Congressional races to siphon votes away from popular Democrats.
Of course, the principled Greens refused. In Michigan, Republicans recruited
nine "stealth" candidates to run as Democrats, thereby discouraging
legitimate opposition. In early voting in Dallas, Texas, voting machines
were recording Democratic votes as Republican; the GOP, when caught, blamed
it on "miscalibration." In Arkansas, many African American voters
were asked to produce their voter ID cards in a blatant effort at intimidation.
Officials in South Dakota want new restrictions on Native American voters.
- Did you know that Republicans used private planes from
Enron Corp. and Halliburton Co., the firm headed by Dick Cheney that also
practiced phony accounting fraud, to crisscross the state and block the
counting of Florida votes? This time around in the Florida primary, misleading
fliers were circulated again, saying that some people should vote on a
day after Nov. 5. Similar fliers were circulated in Florida before the
2000 election, which some say confused some voters there. I bet they'd
like to hire Arthur Andersen to audit Florida's elections system.
- But these are trivial gestures - distracting parlor games,
really - and not the real issue that proves your own vote will not matter.
- President Bush supposedly signed new Election Reform
Legislation into law earlier this month. Kay J. Maxwell, president of the
League of Women Voters of the United States, stated: "Because of the
hard work of many ? elected officials, advocacy groups, and grassroots
organizations such as ours, America,s voters can look forward to real changes
at their polling places over the next few years." Right, the next
few years. But not this year. Nothing, especially in Florida, has really
changed at all.
- Where we begin to get a little closer to the truth is
not in the debate about who can vote, although that certainly is important,
but in the mechanics of the voting. Call it the hanging chad tangent, if
- Like the voting machines. Who provides them, and who
- Most recently, a former Florida secretary of state profited
by being a lobbyist for both the state's counties and the company that
sold some of them touch-screen voting machines used in last month's botched
primary election. Sandra Mortham, who served as the state's top elections
official from 1995 to 1999, is a lobbyist for both Election Systems &
Software and the Florida Association of Counties, which exclusively endorsed
the company's touchscreen machines in return for a commission... Mortham
received a commission from ES&S for every county that bought its touch-screen
machines. The exact terms have not been disclosed... Mortham is of course
a Republican who before a scandal brought her down was going to be Jeb
Bush's running mate in Florida.
- And of course, there is the current problem in Nebraska.
Look at the documents, see the loop: ES&S, according to the Nebraska
Elections Division, is the ONLY vote-counting company certified to sell
machines in Nebraska. ES&S counts 80 percent of the votes; the remaining
20 percent are hand counts.
- ES&S is owned by the McCarthy Group; Michael McCarthy
runs the McCarthy Group; Michael McCarthy is the Campaign Treasurer for
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel; The FEC designates Michael McCarthy as
a Primary Campaign Committee for Candidate Chuck Hagel; and Chuck Hagel's
financials list the McCarthy Group as an Asset, with his investment valued
at $1-$5 million.
- Hagel came to Omaha from Washington, where he worked
with the first George Bush Administration. In news articles by the Omaha
World-Herald, Hagel said he was coming to Omaha to become president and
partner in the McCarthy Group and Chairman of American Information Systems.
- In his congressional bio he is said to have come to Omaha
"to prepare for running for office." The first thing he did was
run American Information Systems, a vote-counting company. Hagel was the
first Republican in 24 years to win a Nebraska senatorial campaign. He
continues to disclose an investment of $1-5 million in the McCarthy Group,
but he does not identify the underlying assets (ES&S). His disclosure
documents omit any mention of American Information Systems at all. John
Gottschalk has been reported as a director for both the World-Herald Company
Inc. (concentrating on the non-newspaper subsidiaries) and ES&S. He
was also involved with Senator Hagel in the World USO, has relationships
with James Baker; he is listed as a USO pal of George W. Bush. Hmm, there's
that certain odor again.
- (The unabridged information on this can be accessed at
- This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to
voting machines, by the way, as you could read in the aforemented reference.
Perhaps the greatest vote-fixing story of the computer age occurred in
the1988 Republican primary in New Hampshire, where it is likely that a
notoriously riggable collection of "Shouptronic" computers "preordained"
voting results to give George Bush his "Hail Mary" victory in
New Hampshire. Nobody save a small group of computer engineers, like John
Sununu, the state's Republican governor, would be the wiser.
- "People who mistrust the voting process cannot,
in the traditional American way, accept the defeat of their candidates
gracefully and work loyally with the winners. Instead, more and more American
voters are feeling "had," "scammed," "hoodwinked"
by the voting system. Trust has almost departed. There is the nagging,
unproven, yet pervasive feeling that the "experts," the "spin
doctors," the "covert operators" and the "private interests"
have put their technicians and consultants in absolute control of the national
vote count, and that in any selected situation these computer wizards can
and will program the vote as their masters wish." So wrote James M.
Collier in his 1992 classic, "Votescam: The Stealing of America."
- This New Hampshire primary was perhaps the most polled
primary election in American history, and in the end, the Republican voters
in the state confounded the predictions of nearly every published survey
of voter opinion, Collier wrote. Gallup's glaring error and the miscalls
of other polling organizations once again raised questions about the accuracy
of polls.What nobody seriously wrote about was that the polls were usually
right and that the computers were eminently "fixable." Read the
whole sorry tale at http://Votescam.com/chap1.html. When you do you'll
realize that not just the second Bush was an illegitimately elected president.
- What really determines elections is who counts the votes,
and who counts the votes is somebody you probably didn't know, and if you
did know them, you surely wouldn't trust them to count the votes. No government
agency counts the votes. And the people who count the votes, who tell you
who your next president is, have no government oversight, no audit, no
official you have elected watching over them.
- The people who really count the votes are the media,
more specifically a politically influenced cabal of minions bought and
paid for by corporate tycoons who own the nation's major media outlets.
These are the same people who don't think peace demonstrations are worthy
of coverage, and who in the year 2000 got together and reviewed the data
from Florida and then really wouldn't tell us what they found out. They'd
only say ... Bush won, just like the Supreme Court. The highest court of
the United States wouldn't let Florida recount its ballots, and the highest
media of the United States wouldn't tell us what they found when they did.
In case you were wondering, there is no honest official vote total from
the last election, only the one "certified" by Katherine Harris.
- Evan Ravitz, founder of the website vote.org, has itemized
the major problems with America's manipulable election system. (http://www.vote.org/fraud.htm)
- "When I directed Boulder, Colorado's Voting by Phone
ballot initiative campaign in 1993 I learned many unnerving things about
existing voting procedures. The problems revealed in Florida are just the
beginning," Ravitz wrote. Here's his list:
- 1. The Voter News Service (formerly News Election Service)
" which supplies ALL election-eve numbers on national and Congressional
races " is a private business of the TV networks, The New York Times,
the Washington Post and the Associated Press. If you ask them how they
count votes and predict outcomes they say that's proprietary information!
They have no web site or other public profile. And they won't tell you
a thing about how they do what they do.
- 2. Most votes in America are counted by computer programs
which are also proprietary secrets. Not even election officials are allowed
to inspect these programs (the "source code") to verify their
accuracy. Election officials can test the programs (using "test decks")
but any clever programmer can write a program which passes tests but falsifies
- 3. In most jurisdictions, identification for voting is
on the honor system. Signatures, if taken, are not compared to your signature
on file in most places unless you are "challenged" by election
judges or poll watchers, a rare event. When this system started hundreds
of years ago, the election judges or poll watchers knew most everyone in
their precincts. In modern America, this is rarely true.
- 4. Mail or absentee ballots are often delivered to old
addresses, and the USPS is not supposed to forward them. Whoever gets one
could fill it out in the rightful voter's name. This is discussed in the
document "Florida Voter Fraud Issues" from the Florida Department
Of Law Enforcement. In student and other high-turnover areas, this problem
- 5. In states with "early" voting, there is
no system to prevent people from voting early at an elections office and
then also voting at their precinct. This is going on right now as we speak.
(See the Dallas anecdote above.)
- So, here's the deal: the people who count the votes are
the same people who both predict (via the use of polls) the winners and
also report on the outcomes of these elections. Do you think they have
any interest in promoting their credibility by seeing their predictions
verified? After all, these are private businesses.
- Also, the actual members of the Voter News Service are
super-rich media barons, with intimate ties to the power structure of America,
which chooses all of the major candidates for president in every election.
Do you think they might be in agreement who will win before the election
- As Collier wrote of the 1988 fiasco in New Hampshire,
"there was no rechecking of the computerized voting machines, no inquiry
into the path of the vote from the voting machines to the central tallying
place, no public scrutiny of the mechanisms of the mighty peculiar vote
that saved George Bush's career and leapfrogged the relatively obscure
Sununu into the White House."
- The media giants who reported on " and recounted
" Florida's votes in the 2000 election failed to report one simple
fact: that by law, ballots rejected by counting machines have to be hand-counted.
This did not occur, and this was not widely reported.
- If either had occurred, you know who would not be in
the White House at this moment trying to make war on the entire world.
If either had occurred, our Constitutional Bill of Rights would still be
in force, which now, as a result of this convenient media oversight, it
- The same wealthy patricians who undercount the number
of people who attend antiwar demonstrations, who pretend there are no political
opinions in the United States except Republican and Democratic, who deride
"liberals" and blithely report that Paul Wellstone's political
assassination was just a mysterious accident " and that 9/11 was an
attack by disenchanted Muslim terrorists ... these are the same people
who are predicting and reporting on your elections, as well as the very
ones who actually count the votes and give you the totals.
- Which is why your vote in Tuesday's election will most
definitely not really matter.
- John Kaminski is a writer living on the coast of Florida
who will not be voting for Katherine Harris (who should be indicted for
22,000 counts of civil rights violations) in Tuesday's election.